UN Campaign, Science Academies to Raise SDG Awareness
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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Two separate surveys among scientific academies and people in the Philippines found low awareness of the SDGs among the scientific community as well as ordinary citizens.

To address this issue, the UN SDG Action Campaign is creating space for people to engage in implementation and monitoring, while the InterAcademy Partnership, a global network of science agencies, has published an SDG guide for its members.

7 December 2017: Two separate surveys, one conducted by the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) of its members and another focused on the Philippines, found low awareness of the SDGs among the scientific community as well as ordinary citizens. To address this issue, the UN SDG Action Campaign is encouraging people to engage in SDG implementation and monitoring, while the IAP, a global network of science agencies, has published a guide to the SDGs for its members.

Market research conducted jointly by PepsiCo, Paragon Partnerships, and the UN SDG Action Campaign found that just 5.9% of 10,000 people interviewed in the Philippines were aware of the SDGs, with this percentage falling among lower-income respondents. The survey also found that poverty, hunger and ill health were the issues of most concern to respondents, corresponding to SDGs 1, 2 and 3 respectively. The majority of respondents (68.2%) believed that the situation with regard to these concerns had not changed in the past year, while about a quarter (28%) felt the situation had improved.

Commenting on the results of the Philippines survey, Dilek Ozler of Paragon Partnerships expressed hope that more country governments will choose to measure progress and promote SDG implementation. Paragon Partnerships is a network of government, research agencies, NGOs, companies and client organizations that seeks to use data to generate insights for policy making and programme development towards SDG implementation.

The UN SDG Action Campaign is an initiative of the UN Secretary-General administered by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The campaign supports countries and the UN system to promote public engagement in SDG implementation. Among its activities are the MYWorld 2030 platform for data sharing and citizen engagement and the ‘World We Want’ partnership with civil society for hosting SDG-focused consultations.

Separately, the IAP, a global network of science, engineering and medicine academies, conducted a survey of its members, which likewise found limited awareness of the SDGs. The IAP has published a 20-page guide to “demystify” the structures and processes by which the SDGs are to be implemented, and to encourage scientists to apply their knowledge to the challenge of implementation. The guide titled, ‘Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals: A Guide for Merit-Based Academies,’ includes a database of peer-reviewed publications on the SDGs that academies have produced since 2014. The activities are part of a three-year IAP project that began in 2016, and seeks to promote the global science community’s contribution to SDG achievement. [UN SDG Action Campaign Press Release] [UN SDG Action Campaign ‘About Us’ Page] [Paragon Partnerships Website] [Full Text of IAP Guide] [InterAcademy Partnership Press Release]

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